Ever wondered “What is CNC Machining?” Much of the success of modern manufacturing depends on Computer Numerical Control machines. CNC machining allows the manufacture of precision parts that would be impossible or impractical to make by hand. Once the workpiece is placed inside the milling machine, the computer guides the movement of the tools according to the individual program written for each part, virtually eliminating human error.
If you have even a cursory knowledge of manufacturing, you’re probably familiar with the term CNC, even if you don’t know it stands for Computer Numerical Control. What is Computer Numerical Control? It’s a computer-driven machine that can be programmed to remove parts or sections of whatever material is placed into the machine. The material in that stock piece could be metal, wood, plastic or just about any other material you can imagine.
The cuts, drills or other material removals made by the CNC machines are precise and can meet very tight tolerances. Machined parts are far more uniform and precise than parts made by hand could ever be.
Now that you know the surface-level answer for “What is CNC Machining?” Let’s dig into the advantages of CNC Machining. Code is written that controls the exact movements of the machinery. This results in faster and more exact movements, less waste and less human error. Once a program is written to meet the specifications of a given item, the item can be reproduced quickly, easily and perfectly countless numbers of times.
Not every cast metal item requires machining, but many do. That’s why Cast Technologies has a CNC machine shop on-site. The CNC machine shop at Cast Technologies focuses on machining cast metal items to bring them up to customer specifications. This can mean smoothing a finish, correcting a defect or merely removing sections that were needed to make a good cast but are not part of the final design. It can also mean adding fine details beyond those that can be produced by casting alone.
Having our own on-site machining services is far more desirable than working with a separate shop, because both the foundry and machine shop employees are all working toward the same goal. Plus, if anything goes wrong, we own it. There’s never any question of who is responsible for making things right for the customer. There’s no worry about poor machining ruining a good cast. When we cast it and we machine it, we are responsible for it.
Computer numerical control technology has shaped modern industry over the last several decades. There are many different types of CNC machinery commonly in use today. Each has advantages and disadvantages based on their cost, their ability to meet tight tolerances, their suitability for different materials and the cost of operating the machine. Some of the most common examples of CNC machinery include:
It would be hard to find a manufacturer today that doesn’t rely on machining services. Some of them include:
CNC prototyping offers many advantages. But, what is CNC machining Prototyping? It’s quick and accurate. Making small changes in a prototype is simple in that only the program must be adjusted. Because of these advantages, prototype machining can be much less expensive than other manufacturing methods. Cast Technologies has the capability to perform CNC rapid prototyping. We can partner with you. Let us help you develop your prototype design.
The computer numerical control technology process calls for a different workflow than when factories depended on traditional machinists to operate the equipment. The programmer will study the blueprint of a given part and choose what tools would work best to shape it. Next, the programmer will write the program for the CNC machine. Another person will set up the machine and make sure everything is operating correctly. At that point, another person, often an entry-level worker, can operate the machine by loading it with materials. Each role may vary and there may be some overlap depending on the size of the shop.
A CNC machinist will have advanced skills. These will likely include the ability to:
Casting Technologies has the people, equipment and experience you need. Whether you’re working on a prototype or have a part for which you need a small or large production run, we can handle the whole process. Our equipment allows us to design, cast and machine almost anything you might require, from small, delicate parts up to pieces weighing hundreds of pounds. Our engineer can answer any questions you might have. Contact us today.